Artisanal horticulturalist Eve Vernet (Catherine Frot) honors her father’s legacy by continuing the family business, breeding and growing unique roses that compete in showcases all over France. But Eve’s approach struggles to compete with the mass market production from her corporate rivals. With the business facing imminent bankruptcy or liquidation, Eve’s trusted secretary, Vera, makes a last-ditch effort to turn things around by hiring three new employees from a prison rehabilitation program behind Eve’s back. In a desperate attempt to save the business, the new team comes up with a perilous plan, and Eve unexpectedly discovers new parts of life that are worth nurturing.
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The Rose Maker comes to DVD with a 480p transfer that is quite pleasing for the format. This DVD offers up an impressive amount of detail from the production design to clothing. The cinematography of the film skews on the brighter side with many moments where bright colors radiate off the screen. Skin tones look natural, and there are some decent facial details present, especially in the myriad of close ups. Compression artifacts are present without being overwhelming. Black levels are quite strong with only a minimal amount of blocking. Colors are nice and fairly vibrant, especially in the bright daytime scenes that serve as the primary setting for the film. This presentation is just about as good as a DVD can look. While a Blu-Ray release would have been nice, this movie is worth checking out on any format.
The DVD comes with a Dolby Digital 5.1 Audio track in the original French which sounds pretty great. The film is mostly dialogue driven, but the playful music in the film gives the track some life. Dialogue is mixed well and comes through crystal clear without ever being stepped on by the score or any sound effects. The music provides a notable mood throughout the movie that fills the surround speakers. Directionality is rendered accurately so that sounds originate from all the natural spots. Environmental sounds such as background chatter or animal noises add a dynamic touch to the proceedings. Although there is not constant activity in the track, it presents the movie exactly as it was intended and that is really all you can ask. The disc also includes optional English SDH subtitles.
- Audio Commentary: Director Pierre Pinaud delivers an informative commentary track in which he discusses his personal reason for wanting to tell this story, his relationship with some of the key figures in the film, motivations behind certain shot compositions, the thought that went into the costume and production design, the themes of the story, the music of the film and more.
- Interview with Catherine Frot: A ten-minute interview in which the actress discusses the elements that drew her to the film, her favorite aspects of her character, the emotional journey she takes throughout the film, what she learned from this role, her favorite rose, the collaborative process with her director and more.
- Interview with Pierre Pinaud: A nearly 15-minute interview with the filmmaker in which he discusses his love of flowers, his thoughts on his lead character, what made Catherine Frot perfect for the role, why he did not want to include a romantic interest in the film for her, the social commentary of the narrative, how he found his young performers and more.
- Deleted Scenes: Five scenes totaling six minutes of unused material are provided here including a scene discussing the uncertainty around the future of the business, heartfelt scenes between Eve and Vera, and more.
- Being A Rose Breeder: A minute-and-a-half breakdown on some of the characteristics of roses and how people breed them.
- Theatrical Trailer: The two-minute trailer is provided here.
The Rose Maker is a light and charming story which pushes few boundaries but delights all the same. The strong performances bring this relatively routine story to life in an enjoyable fashion which allows you to forget about your problems for a couple of hours. If you are looking to be challenged by a narrative, you should look elsewhere. If you are looking for a well-paced comedy that gives you a handful of big laughs and some emotional moments, this should be your speed. Music Box Films has released a DVD featuring a pretty great A/V presentation for the format along with a couple entertaining special features. Recommended
The Rose Maker is currently available to purchase on DVD and Digital.
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the DVD.
Disclaimer: Music Box Films has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.